The quest for the "Holy Grail" of engagement raises the question of the level of engagement that is expected from employees and the type of transaction between the employee and the organization. From an extreme of disengagement and “detachment” to another extreme of over-engagement and “addiction,” indeed, several combinations are possible:
- “Separate lives”: employees come to work but their life and potential engagement remains outside the organization;
- “Contract”: a transaction where employees are committed to deliver efforts and results, but expect a reward in return;
- “Holy Grail”: employees open their hearts and engage the best of their resources, feeling at home and having a sense of “ownership” towards the organization;
- “Fusion”: employees have merged their personal and professional lives, could be over-engaged, and are potentially leading to burn out.
What is a "Fanatic" employee ?
The Fanatic is an over-actively engaged employee who has developed a hypersensitive and intolerant attitude as a defender of the organization’s culture and values, putting pressure on his or her peers when they do not fit into his or her vision.
Fanatics: how to define their engagement ?
The Fanatic has mixed levels of engagement, from “Sustainability” on rational and physical engagement (full connection, ownership, but no altruism) to addiction/ over-stress on spiritual and emotional engagement.
- "Spiritual" engagement: Fanatics are very engaged on the "spiritual" dimension, but far too much, and in an addictive way. They may be either “mystical”, thinking they have a “divine mission,” or “hysterical.” They do not accept other people criticizing the company and its culture/values, lack the ability to step back and accept differences, and have a low tolerance for contradiction.
- "Rational" engagement: Fanatics have a high rational engagement. Fully connected and enabled within the organization, they have a feeling of “owning” the organization, but in an extreme way, preventing them from accepting less engaged people around them. Aside from that, they have developed a belief that perfection should be the standard, so they set standards (behavior employees should have, deadlines to meet, quality of the deliverables, etc.) that no one can meet, and then further criticizes/whines when the standards are not achieved. They have lost altruism, as they “know what is best for you.”
- "Emotional" engagement: Fanatics are extremely engaged emotionally, and they are addicted to the company’s values and codes of behavior. They consider themselves as being on a mission to defend the internal model and way of working. This “addiction” can lead to over-excitation, hysteria, a “transcended” over- emotional attitude, blindness when facing rational situations, and aggressive behavior. They like to shake things up but cannot stop when needed as they are limitless.
- "Somatic" engagement: Fanatics are energetic and have a high physical engagement and presence in the organization. They are fully connected with full energy, but they believe others should always be energetic and fully committed like they are.